The Timelines We Impose Upon Ourselves

26 days to 50.

When I was 23 I lived in Minneapolis in a fabulous house with a huge stained glass window in the hallway and custom wood details everywhere. My best girlfriend and I really couldn’t afford the house, but we loved it so much that we acquired several roommates to help us pay the rent. One of those roommates, Christine, was OLDER than us. She was 26 or 27.

We worked with her in a ridiculous bar – a “Beach Club” on one of the lakes. She seemed a little desperate, running after any man who would pay any attention to her. Our most common conversation with her- usually over Bailey’s Irish Cream and coffee- was about her timeline to find a man.

It went something like this-

“I want to have kids by the time I’m 30.”

” I want to be married for at least a year before I have a child.”

“I want to date a man for at least 2 years before I get married.”

If you do the math you will see that she needed to find a man right now. TODAY. I think when she first started talking about this she had 2 or 3 months to find her man.

It didn’t happen in the next year or two that I knew her.

We used to make fun of her and laugh about her situation (behind her back- so classy).

But now I realize that I have imposed impossible timelines on myself time and time again. And just like her many of the timelines I thought were so important have not been met. I’m still here. It calls to question all the things I don’t have right now that I thought I would have- A husband. Kids. A house with a front porch and a telephone nook.

Did I make the right decisions? Did I focus on the things that should have mattered the most? I spent so long fighting not to have exactly the same type of life as my parents that I think I neglected figuring out what was really important to me. I didn’t want to stop to take an honest look at my needs, at the real timeline I was facing, choosing instead to focus on the things I could control RIGHT NOW- my career and how much stuff I could fit in my apartment.

I think it’s time to talk a look at the goals I thought I’d get to one day. Maybe some of those impossible goals are¬†important enough to pursue.

Not as THE IF ONLY GIRL-

IF ONLY I made it a priority to find a husband.

IF ONLY I had kids before the option was taken away from me.

IF ONLY I would have been more financially savvy in my twenties.

But as the new empowered Laura- the make it happen girl.

Here’s hoping it’s never too late to start setting goals with an open ended timeline.

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